In winter, the weather in Europe is wet, cold and uncomfortable. Thus, many Germans prefer to travel long distance for holidays. No wonder, as long-distance journeys open up completely new opportunities. While you can get to know foreign cultures and gain new perspectives, you can use the good weather in many regions to recharge your batteries. Yet before you fly away, you should first inform yourself thoroughly about your destination and the entry requirements. We have summarized useful tips abound the time difference, vaccinations and visas, so that nothing stands in the way of your next long-distance journey.
For most long-haul destinations, you will need a passport – so check in time whether your passport is still valid to avoid unnecessary anxiety. As soon as the date of travel is fixed you should inform yourself about the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to, as well as by when applications have to be submitted. For many countries you will need a visa in addition to your passport. You should plan a visa application well in advance, as for a trip to Russia, for example, you will need to post your passport to the respective consulate well beforehand. To enter the United States – if your stay is 90 days or less – you will need an ESTA permit at least 3 days before departure. An ESTA application can easily be submitted online. Further information about entry requirements as well as the current security situation of your travel destination can be found on the website of the Foreign Office.
If you want to rent a car abroad, in some countries you will also need an international driver’s license. You can apply for one at the Traffic Office. Note, however, that you will also have to plan in a corresponding lead time. An overview, in which countries the German driver’s license is sufficient or where you need to apply for an international driver’s license, is provided by the ADAC.
Most of the time, you will have to allow for some jet lag. The time difference can be up to 14 hours compared to Germany. It is very important to drink lots of water during the flight. Dehydration is very likely, due to the dry air on the plane. Headaches can be well counteracted by drinking lots of water. We recommend booking an overnight flight, if possible. This way you can use the time on the plane to sleep and maintain the normal day and night rhythm. Once you have arrived, you should under no circumstance succumb to the temptations of the comfy hotel bed. It’s best to stick to local timings, that way your body will get used to the time change most quickly.
On the plane, the air is mostly dry and rather fresh. We therefore recommend you take sufficiently warm clothing on board to avoid catching a cold. Yet, you shouldn’t only be thinking about your health on the way to your holiday destination. Crucial to getting back home sound are appropriate vaccinations. It is important to inform yourself well in advance of your departure about recommended vaccinations for each destination. Unexpected health risks lurk particularly for trips to exotic countries like Africa, Asia and South America. The even in Europe usual vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and whooping cough should at least be refreshed. Depending on the destination, protection against typhoid, hepatitis A & B, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever and cholera is also recommended. Vaccinal immune protection, however, cannot be easily established overnight, many partial vaccinations must be carried out at intervals of several weeks.
In addition to a sufficient vaccine protection, you should definitely take out health insurance. That’s the only way to protect yourself from unpredictable medical expenses during the journey. Usually, you can still take out health insurance at short notice before you travel. Should you travel abroad more often, you might want to consider a year-long travel insurance. This is often cheaper than several individual ones.
You want to escape winter and recharge your batteries? We have a lot of inspiration for you in our collection „Sunny winter destinations“! Click here for the collection.